I chose THE AGE OF EISENHOWER, a discussion of his presidential years 1952-1960, primarily because of the timeliness of the comparison of leadership and policy with the present administration. Historian William Hitchcock has accomplished a scholarly milestone with this objective retrospective of the nostalgic 1950s and Ike himself.
The triumphs and failings of the Eisenhower presidential years are expertly chronicled. However, it is Hitchcock’s insight into Eisenhower’s presidential leadership style, personality and his transformation from the military leader of the free world to the presidency, that is most compelling.
We think of the 1950s of a period of peace and prosperity which was true. It was also a decade of international and domestic turmoil including the beginning of the Cold War.The decade also produced the arms race, the missile gap, the U-2 disaster, the Suez Canal crisis and the Castro takeover of Cuba. The Eisenhower years gave us the beginnings of the battle over desegregation of public schools, Little Rock, McCarthyism, Nixon and the creation of the CIA and NASA. How Ike handled and sometimes mishandled these critical developments is given microscopic analysis.
THE AGE OF EISENHOWER is for lovers of American History. This biography of Eisenhower’s presidency is deserving of its high praise.